England must hope Spain are below par jokes Scotland manager Craig Levein


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The Independent Football

Scotland boss Craig Levein has joked that counterpart Fabio Capello must hope that Spain have an off-day when they take on England in a friendly at Wembley on Saturday.

The Scots lost 3-1 to the World and European champions in Alicante last month to conclude their unsuccessful Euro 2012 qualifying campaign.

Asked if he had any advice for England, Levein, in Cyprus for tomorrow night's friendly, told TalkSport: "Keep your fingers crossed, that's all.

"You hope Spain aren't in form, that's what you've got to do.

"For the first time in my life as a manager in that game against Spain, we were getting a chasing for a while, and I found myself actually watching the opposition and appreciating how well they were playing.

"Usually you are so frustrated that your own team isn't doing well if that is the case but they played some fabulous football.

"The lads said afterwards that they thought they defended quite well and I agreed with them but they move the ball so quickly the concentration levels for defenders have to be 100% all the time.

"If you make one slight error they take advantage of it."

Levein claims the trip to Cyprus has already been of benefit to him even before the game has taken place.

The Scots flew out from Glasgow in Monday with questions being asked about the validity of the exercise.

However, Levein added: "Already it has been beneficial. We had two training sessions yesterday, one the day before.

"The training arena is fantastic, the weather is good and we have had plenty of time with the players.

"It's about getting to know players and we have a few new faces in this time.

"And I have found in the last year or so that the time in the training camps is just as important as the game."